Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > Midwest
Reload this Page >

Suggestions for half a day in Chicago

Suggestions for half a day in Chicago

Old Aug 18, 17, 9:13 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: PDX
Programs: AS DL
Posts: 2,398
Suggestions for half a day in Chicago

What suggestions do you have for half a day in Chicago. The plan is to be in downtown at 2-2:30 pm. I would have to leave the following morning but can stay out up to any time at night.

If I were on my own, I would go on to see the exterior of well known buildings, like Mies Van der Rohe buildings and others. But that's an esoteric idea.

My proposed plan is to see the Art Institute of Chicago then dinner then the Navy Pier.
Toshbaf is online now  
Old Aug 18, 17, 10:32 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 198
FYI, the Art Institute closes at five except on Thursdays, so I'd suggest going straight there and checking your bag rather than checking in to your hotel first.

I'm not really sure I see the point of Navy Pier, although the Ferris wheel might be cool in the evening.

Maybe Second City or the Neo-Futurists if either sounds appealing to you.
mauve is offline  
Old Aug 19, 17, 5:43 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: ORD
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Titanium/LT Platinum, Hilton Gold, AA Platinum
Posts: 4,437
Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post

If I were on my own, I would go on to see the exterior of well known buildings, like Mies Van der Rohe buildings and others. But that's an esoteric idea.
Not sure who you're with, but even people who don't care about architecture usually enjoy the boat ride on the Chicago River for the architectural tours. The CAF has a good one, and I think there are a couple others. It's a fun way to see Chicago for those who aren't impressed by the buildings. The Art Institute is excellent though too, just make sure you have enough time to see it all.

Assuming you're with adults, maybe go for a drink at the Signature Room (top of the Hancock building) after dinner rather than Navy Pier. It's a great view at night.

Originally Posted by mauve View Post

I'm not really sure I see the point of Navy Pier, although the Ferris wheel might be cool in the evening.
I agree, I don't even see how kids enjoy it there. The IMAX is ok though.
MSPeconomist likes this.
JBord is offline  
Old Aug 20, 17, 12:07 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: GRR
Programs: Delta Plat, HH Gold
Posts: 934
If you are into architecture

The Chicago Architecture Foundation--which is the best river cruise--also has many bus and walking tours:

https://www.architecture.org/experience-caf/tours/


For dinner, you can do MUCH better than Navy Pier
gretchendz is offline  
Old Aug 21, 17, 10:47 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Chicago
Programs: WN A list CP, UA Silver, Marriott Platinum, IHG Spire, National EE
Posts: 299
Navy Pier is still a tourist trap, but it's a lot less like a state/county fair now after the recent renovations. I would do the Ferris wheel ride at Navy Pier, then either walk/cab/uber to the Signature Room at Hancock.
Putnik is offline  
Old Jun 5, 18, 4:52 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: points traveller
Posts: 327
giving this a bump instead of creating a new thread.

Will be driving in from Wisconsin around noon, and fly out out ORD with LH @ 2235. It's myself, my wife, and our 9 month old - all first timers to Chicago.

we'd like to see the bean, and eat some pizza - but otherwise open to suggestions.

Also has anyone used dayuse.com? Intercon @ $99 seems to be a decent rate to use as a home base for a few hours
diningdecadence is offline  
Old Jun 6, 18, 12:55 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: ORD
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Titanium/LT Platinum, Hilton Gold, AA Platinum
Posts: 4,437
Originally Posted by diningdecadence View Post
giving this a bump instead of creating a new thread.

Will be driving in from Wisconsin around noon, and fly out out ORD with LH @ 2235. It's myself, my wife, and our 9 month old - all first timers to Chicago.

we'd like to see the bean, and eat some pizza - but otherwise open to suggestions.

Also has anyone used dayuse.com? Intercon @ $99 seems to be a decent rate to use as a home base for a few hours
Realistically, you have 7 hours if you're going to check into a hotel room, which might make sense with a 9 month old. If it's a nice day, I'd walk to Millennium Park. You'll pass the Tribune building on the way, which is interesting, plus cross over the river on Michigan Avenue. There's a riverwalk with a bunch of little outdoor restaurants underneath as a possible lunch. The boats for the river/architecture tours leave from there too.

If you're up for it, after the park, the Art Institute is right next door. For dinner, Pizzeria Uno (not the chain) and Due are just a couple blocks north of the Intercontinental. If you're after deep dish pizza, those are two of the better places.
diningdecadence and BCH like this.
JBord is offline  
Old Jun 11, 18, 9:11 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DTW/FNT
Programs: Delta (nee NW), Hilton Diamond. IHG (PT)
Posts: 4,774
Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Realistically, you have 7 hours if you're going to check into a hotel room, which might make sense with a 9 month old. If it's a nice day, I'd walk to Millennium Park. You'll pass the Tribune building on the way, which is interesting, plus cross over the river on Michigan Avenue. There's a riverwalk with a bunch of little outdoor restaurants underneath as a possible lunch. The boats for the river/architecture tours leave from there too.

If you're up for it, after the park, the Art Institute is right next door. For dinner, Pizzeria Uno (not the chain) and Due are just a couple blocks north of the Intercontinental. If you're after deep dish pizza, those are two of the better places.
The boat trip on the Chicago River and out into the big water is worth doing, not that a 9 month old will get much out of it.

BOb H
BobH is offline  
Old Jun 12, 18, 9:19 pm
  #9  
BCH
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
These are excellent ideas. Chicago is a great city for walking - as long as you have a stroller for your kid. The Inter-Continental is in the perfect location for a day trip.

If you by the bean and the Millennium Park around lunchtime and are saving pizza until dinner, then there is Acanto right across from the part. Great food.

Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Realistically, you have 7 hours if you're going to check into a hotel room, which might make sense with a 9 month old. If it's a nice day, I'd walk to Millennium Park. You'll pass the Tribune building on the way, which is interesting, plus cross over the river on Michigan Avenue. There's a riverwalk with a bunch of little outdoor restaurants underneath as a possible lunch. The boats for the river/architecture tours leave from there too.

If you're up for it, after the park, the Art Institute is right next door. For dinner, Pizzeria Uno (not the chain) and Due are just a couple blocks north of the Intercontinental. If you're after deep dish pizza, those are two of the better places.
BCH is offline  
Old Jun 13, 18, 10:08 pm
  #10  
glg
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Chicago, IL, US
Posts: 2,182
Originally Posted by diningdecadence View Post
Also has anyone used dayuse.com? Intercon @ $99 seems to be a decent rate to use as a home base for a few hours
If you end up at the Intercontinental, stop by the pool (even if not to swim). It's from the 20s and is quite impressive.
chgoeditor likes this.
glg is offline  
Old Jul 9, 18, 1:26 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: MDW/ORD
Posts: 30
For pizza near the bean, I would suggest Giordano's. For pizza closer to the Intercontinental, I would suggest Pizzeria Uno/Pizzeria Due. Same pizza, they just expanded and added the second location (Due). As others mentioned above, I highly recommend the architecture boat tour.
MikeW_ORD is offline  
Old Sep 1, 18, 10:21 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVP, SPG Gold, Hilton Silver
Posts: 1,200
I'm currently planning to attend a 3-day conference without family in Chicago in early October. Conference runs 9 AM - 6 PM T,W,Th. Work (and household) frowns on extending, but I'm considering exSEA early AM on what would already be a travel day (Day 0). I've been to Chicago twice before, and have only scratched the surface of what this city offers. I know I'm not going to be able to do it 'all' this time either, but want to make the most of my short business trip.

Thinking about:Visiting Museum of Contemporary Art and (or?) CAF Cruise on Day 0 mid-day / early afternoonStaying at Westin Chicago River North in a Peleton-equipped room (easy walking distance from where I need to be at 9 AM)Catching exORD flight at 8 PM on a Th, departing hotel (w/ carry-on only) at 6 PM
Reasonable? Try to pack in some more?

TIA
EkekoBWI is offline  
Old Sep 3, 18, 8:27 pm
  #13  
Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: VNY | BUR | LAX
Programs: AAdvantage | MileagePlus
Posts: 11,786
Originally Posted by EkekoBWI View Post
Thinking about:Visiting Museum of Contemporary Art and (or?) CAF Cruise on Day 0 mid-day / early afternoonStaying at Westin Chicago River North in a Peleton-equipped room (easy walking distance from where I need to be at 9 AM)Catching exORD flight at 8 PM on a Th, departing hotel (w/ carry-on only) at 6 PM
Reasonable? Try to pack in some more?
I highly recommend the CAF cruise, although I strongly recommend wearing a wide brimmed hat; I got royally sunburnt on a 5:00 pm cruise in mid July.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is on the agenda for my next visit in mid September, it's a five minutes walk from my daughter's apartment.

BTW, I love The Art Institute of Chicago, it is one of the greatest museums in the world.

As far as a 6pm departure from the North River area for an 8pm flight from O'Hare, that's beyond my risk tolerance. It is probably doable on the Blue Line, which takes approximately 45-50 minutes from the Loop to the airport, however, if you're planning to ride a cab or Uber/Lyft, traffic on the Kennedy Expressway can be quite miserable in that direction at that time of day.
TWA884 is offline  
Old Sep 3, 18, 9:38 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: GRR
Programs: Delta Plat, HH Gold
Posts: 934
Agree

Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
I highly recommend the CAF cruise, although I strongly recommend wearing a wide brimmed hat; I got royally sunburnt on a 5:00 pm cruise in mid July.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is on the agenda for my next visit in mid September, it's a five minutes walk from my daughter's apartment.

BTW, I love the Art Institute of Chicago, it is one of the greatest museums in the world.

As far as a 6pm departure from the North River area for an 8pm flight from O'Hare, that's beyond my risk tolerance. It is probably doable on the Blue Line, which takes approximately 45-50 minutes from the Loop to the airport, however, if you're planning to ride a cab or Uber/Lyft, traffic on the Kennedy Expressway can be quite miserable in that direction at that time of day.
1) 6 pm is too tight a window for that time of day. Try 5 if you are Lyfting. You can thank us later

2) All are great bets. I live near MCA and am a member but I would say the Art Institute and/or CAP River Cruise should be priorities. The River Cruise is wonderful.
gretchendz is offline  
Old Sep 6, 18, 5:50 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVP, SPG Gold, Hilton Silver
Posts: 1,200
Thanks! Will likely plan out my itin next weekend. Was hoping to squeeze in a Blackhawks game, but no such scheduling luck.
Any comments on the Westin?
EkekoBWI is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread